COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Travel to Paris or Hawaii for less than $300? There must be a catch, right? It's called "travel hacking" and a Columbus man says he's been doing it for three years.
"People that take advantage of basically every opportunity they can to earn frequent flier miles. They earn a ton of those frequent flier miles and then they use them to redeem for cheap or sometimes free trips," said Bryce Conway.
Conway says the easiest way to rack up those free miles is to sign up for credit cards that offer a large amount up front. He currently has a stack of 23 credit cards. That could be trouble for some, but Conway says he's smart about it.
"It can be dangerous to have that much credit available, but simply opening cards and using them responsibly can actually help your credit score in the long run," he said.
He says his credit score actually went up and is now 785.
Many cards require a minimum amount to be spent before they release the rewards. Conway uses the card until he meets that minimum requirement. Some cards require an annual fee, but most will waive it for the first year. Conway cancels the card just before the year is up. The key is to pay off the balance each month so you don't end up paying interest on your purchases.
Last February he decided to go to Paris with his then-fiancé for his birthday. It's a trip that would have normally cost about $3,500.
"I was able to get my flight and four nights in some of the best hotels in Paris for $266 out of my pocket," he said.
He used the same process to take his wife on their honeymoon to Hawaii.
Conway got started when he tried to book a cheap trip to Florida for spring break while in college. He gave up, but noticed after searching online he kept seeing pop-ups for credit cards that offer free miles in exchange for signing up. He gave it a try.
"I ended up booking a flight to Florida for the first half of the week and then we jetted off to Vegas for the second half of the week, flew home, and it all cost $5 bucks. I was like 'wow, that was the easiest thing ever,'" he said.
He claims he hasn't paid full price for a flight or hotel in more than three years.
Conway has written a book and blogs about his travels and how he does it. The next big trip he's planning is to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day for his wife's birthday.
(Photo courtesy Bryce Conway)